The Tampa Bay Rays designated Japanese infielder Yoshitomo Tsutsugo for assignment on Tuesday and removed him from the 40-man roster to make room for a different player.

Tsutsugo was placed on a waiver list, which allows any other major league team to claim the player's existing contract. If a claim is not made over the next week, Tsutsugo can become a free agent and sign with another team or join the Rays' minor league affiliate.

The 29-year-old Tsutsugo is in his second year of a two-year, $12 million contract.

The left-handed slugger has batted .187 with 44 hits, eight homers and 29 RBIs in 77 major league games, including 51 games in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

The Rays paid a $2.4 million posting fee to the DeNA BayStars to acquire Tsutsugo in the 2019 offseason. Tsutsugo spent 10 seasons with DeNA in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball organization before moving to the majors.

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Yoshitomo Tsutsugo of the Tampa Bay Rays flies out in the eighth inning of a game against the Houston Astros at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, on May 2, 2021. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo